As a hairstylist at several salons around Storm Lake for the past 10 years, Sherrie Sassman was always limited in the number of customers she could serve or the flexibility of hours she could maintain.
Last Friday, those limits flew out the windows of Sassman's new salon at 1427 West Milwaukee Avenue.
Sassman, a native of town who graduated from Storm Lake High School in 1989 and the Faust Institute of Cosmetology in 1991, began operation of her own hairstyling business, Hair Unlimited, last Friday, and has already built a solid clientele from her work at three previous salons in Storm Lake over the past decade.
Sassman, who has cut hair at Arcade Beauty Salon, La Famme Salon and ExperTease Styles & Cuts, said she decided to start up her own company because of the opportunity to set her own hours and to provide a greater level of customer service for her clients.
"There are really so many advantages to being my own boss and owning my own business," Sassman said. "I have more flexibility in terms of hours, I don't have to worry about giving up a booth for clients of other hairdressers and I'm able to work with a really great team of people here. I'm really excited about the opportunity I have here."
After working at Arcade fresh after graduation from Faust, Sassman spent more than a year building up a solid clientele from around the area, and that core group moved with her as she switched jobs several times during the 1990s.
She said many of the same people she helped back at La Famme and ExperTease are still with her today, and said she has received a great deal of support from her set of clients while starting up Hair Unlimited.
"It was just great to have all of the moral support from customers while I was working on this, because they helped me out tremendously," Sassman said. "There were people that helped with everything from distributing flyers to printing up business cards to giving me plants to put in here. I've been very happy with all of the support that I've received from my customers."
The Hair Unlimited owner also received a great deal of help from her husband, Rich, a service manager at Rasmussen's, who assisted his wife in laying down carpet, painting walls and any other work that needed to be done before the grand opening on Friday.
"He's been a busy man," Sassman said. "He'd work his job and then come over and help get all of this taken care of too. He's been terrific throughout this."
Sassman, who has two sons, Dylan, 10, and Dalton, 5, jumped at the chance to start up the business when she and Rich discovered the West Milwaukee building was in need of a tenant, and she said the location of the company couldn't be better.
"I thought the location of this was perfect being on Highway 7 where there's a lot of traffic flowing by," Sassman said. "It was also attractive because it had its own parking lot, and that was definitely a big plus."
The salon offers hair, nails, tanning and waxing services, and Sassman she hopes to treat every customer with the same high level of care each time they walk in the store.
"It means a lot to me to see each one of my customers walk through the door," Sassman said. "It's something that's a great thing to see, because I love every one of them just like family."